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Billing errors make energy companies ‘£650m a year’


It has been revealed in an independent survey that energy companies are making at least £650m a year due to errors in the billing process.

The survey, which was administered by consultancy firm Consumer Intelligence, revealed that the average overcharge error stands at £121 and affects as many as 28pc of customers in the UK. A total of 2,000 people responded to the survey and 30pc, almost one-in-three, found that there had been an error with their bill. However, 40pc of people who receive paper bills noticed that there was an error present, compared to just 29pc of those who receive their bills online. While this is not a case of energy companies making more mistakes with customers they send paper bills to, it is evident that those who do receive paper bills check the bill more thoroughly than those who get their bill electronically.

Clare Welton, from the Fuel Poverty Action campaign group, has slammed energy suppliers, for what she considers ‘daylight robbery’ at a time when energy prices have been hiked by most suppliers. She said: “This daylight robbery disguised as sloppy service from energy companies is yet another blow to the idea that the big six, or any bodies that put profit before people’s needs, are in any way suitable to be running our energy system”.

This is not the first time that the energy industry has been caught up in questions over its integrity to customers. The Guardian newspaper reported earlier this month that npower, one of the largest suppliers in the UK, owed customers more than £400m after a series of Direct Debit overpayments. Another major supplier, British Gas, was also found to owe customers, who had built up credit in their accounts over £20m at one time.

If you’re looking for a cheaper energy deal, you can compare what you’re currently paying to other deals on the market at uSwitch.

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